Having started the day on equal points with then-leader Jarrad Drizners (UniSA-Australia), Rosskopf, who was the most aggressive rider on stage one, made his intentions clear by attacking with Sam Jenner (UniSA-Australia) as soon as the flag dropped at the start of the 135.8-kilometer second stage.
Rosskopf out-climbed Jenner to claim maximum points on the first KOM of the day, the category two Quarry Road climb in Charleston, before the duo sat up to allow Laurens De Vreese (Astana Pro Team), and Omer Goldstein (Israel Start Up Nation) to bridge across.
In a repeat of stage one, Rosskopf attacked from the breakaway to secure the claim the final KOM of the day, extending his lead in the KOM classification to 25 points, 14 points in front of De Vreese.
With Rosskopf back in the breakaway, the leading quartet built a maximum advantage of three minutes before the peloton started to increase the chase to bring the gap down to just over a minute approaching the first passage of the finish line in Stirling.
The peloton kept the breakaway on a short leash on the three laps of the finish circuit and eventually brought De Vresse, who was the last man standing, back before the bell lap.
The stage was set for a battle of the sprinters and General Classification contenders looking to claim valuable bonus seconds but a crash in the final three kilometers took down a large group, including Rosskopf, and split the field.
Łukasz Wiśniowski tried his luck with an attack under the flamme rouge but it was Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) who sprinted to the win. Simon Geschke just missed out on the top ten, crossing the line in 11th place, which sees the German move up to the top twenty on the General Classification.
Fortunately, Rosskopf emerged from the crash unscathed and was able to finish the stage and take to the podium.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“I got my jersey today. I earned it the hard way. I’m super satisfied as it was nice to get something out of the breakaway. Yesterday wasn’t super crucial as the bonus points on the climbs were only six points and today, each time over, was ten points, so it added up quickly. If I could win both times today then I knew I would have a chance of keeping the jersey for a while depending on how the next climbs play out, with the KOMS on Paracombe, Victor Harbor, and Willunga.”
“We were open for anyone to go for the jersey. We were all free to try. Losing Paddy Bevin before the race started was a big blow but it gives everyone a bit more of a free role. One of the big goals is still to support Simon Geschke for the overall, and Szymon Sajnok for some sprints. He is a young guy but he was up there today, looking food on the last lap. They’re both riding really well.”
“I was at the back of the crash and went down. Unfortunately, for other guys, they cushioned my fall. But I’m fine. Tomorrow, I’ll take a day off from the breakaway. We are motivated for the finish on Paracombe.”
Santos Tour Down Under
Top 3: 1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), 2. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT), 3. Nathan Haas (Cofidis)
CCC Team top 3: 11. Simon Geschke, 27. Łukasz Wiśniowski, 35. Josef Ćerný
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